Living in an energy efficient home made of eco-friendly materials is fast becoming a dream for many of us. No longer do we wish for a perfectly trimmed lawn and a white picket fence, but rather efficient appliances, well-placed windows and good insulation. Oh, and a xeriscaped yard.
And if you just so happen to be in the eco-home market, check out Sid Davis’ Your Eco-Friendly Home – Buying, Building or Remodeling Green. This book’s in-the-box approach serves its readers well and is engaging and accessible, with inexperienced home buyers in mind – but even experienced buyers will find something to chew on, because looking to build, buy or upgrade to green brings up new issues that most people haven’t even thought about. Davis meticulously describes securing financing, researching agents and contractors, retaining architects, using engineers, and many other traditional means.
Conveniently enough, this book is divided into three parts, each one focusing on Building, Buying or Remodeling green. Each section is full of information and examples. Here’s a partial list of topics from the very long and detailed table of contents:
Finding and Qualifying for Eco-Friendly Financing
Finding an Eco-Friendly Agent
Shopping for an Eco-Friendly Home on Your Own
Successful Strategies For Making an Offer on a Home
Finding and Working With a Green Builder
Planning Your Environmentally Friendly Home
Protecting Yourself with Good Paperwork
Finding and Working with a Green Architect
Paying the Contractor and Managing Your Costs
Determining Where and What to Plant and Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid
Remodeling Your Home’s Exterior and Interior with Eco-Friendly Systems and Materials
This practical guide really covers it all. I even shared this book with my husband, who spent over 14 years working as a contractor and has owned a few homes himself, and he thinks it’s a great resource, too. His personal suggestion is that anyone considering remodeling would be best served by hiring a skilled local carpenter rather than a large licensed contractor, simply because the carpenter will be more willing to work with you and your family step-by-step to make sure your needs are met. It is your local carpenter that is familiar with the local planning department, local materials, local suppliers, and local specialty labor. And keeping it local is a lot of what eco-friendly living is all about.